3-21 Jeremy Rice.jpg

Jeremy D. Rice, 22, walks back to his seat Thursday in Madison Circuit Court after pleading not guilty to the murder of Joshua Childers, 22. In the background is his attorney, Public Advocate Sara Zuercher.

Jeremy D. Rice, accused of striking and killing his girlfriend’s brother with a vehicle, appeared Thursday in Madison Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty to murder.

Family and friends of the victim, 22-year-old Joshua Childers, stared silently from the audience as Rice  briefly appeared before the judge. Most of them were clad in blue T-shirts emblazoned with a photo of Childers on the back.

The front of the T-shirts had a picture of a dock leading out over water, with the words “On the pier and drinking beer” beside it. The phrase is from a Luke Bryan country song.

After hearing Rice’s plea, Judge William Clouse scheduled him for a 1:30 p.m. May 1 pretrial hearing.

Rice faces 20 to 50 years or life in prison if convicted of murder.

He is charged with striking Childers with a vehicle the night of Dec. 28 following an argument. According to Richmond police officer Paul Lay, Childers had intervened in a fight between Rice and his girlfriend, Childers’ sister. The two men began wrestling, and they ended up outside in the parking lot of the Evansdale Avenue apartment.

Childers’ sister told police Rice got in a vehicle and struck Childers with it before fleeing the scene, Lay testified at an earlier court hearing. Rice was later arrested at his mother’s house.

Lay also testified that Childers was not blocking the parking lot’s exit, and Rice could have driven around him.

Childers died two days later at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Since his arrest, Rice has remained in the Madison County Detention Center under a $1 million bond.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

CORRECTION, March 21, 2014: In Friday’s front-page story about a murder case arraignment in Madison Circuit Court, the headline incorrectly listed the victim’s name as the defendant.

Jeremy D. Rice, 22, is charged with the Dec. 28 vehicular assault and murder of Joshua Childers, 22.

This is offensive to our readers, but especially the victim’s family. The Register sincerely apologizes for an error which is inexcusable.

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